Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Working in the studio, I am using a lot of imagination as I move things around, tossing things and rearranging my creative space.  You would think that a space this large would have lots of space around it, but it doesn't.  I am a creature of comfort and coziness.  I love LOTS of stuff in a space. 

Thinking of how to arrange it for maximum efficiency, the only drawback is that it has been a certain way for almost 5 years...it was working pretty good...I knew where most things were.  Now, with my REORGANIZATION - which is 'like things' in places together..I may be lost for awhile.  But oh well. This task has taken me a LONG time to get going. 

Each day I said that old Nike motto to myself, "Just Do It".  Didn't work.  I jump started it yesterday and today by moving my concrete block bookcase and reorganizing it.  Oh my aching back...but it WILL be done by week's end and the new year. That is my goal!  Check back to see if I did it! 

Just brought in some magazine racks, from the trailer we used to pick them up.  We got the shelves from my bro and sister-in-law in KC, who bought a house from a guy who sold office furnishings.  Primo items he left there - including a treadmill that will be part of the New Year's res.  Once these cool shelves go together - and they are fun to assemble (rubber mallets make one feel the power..."ooo-ooo-ooo!") -  I can get all my art mags organized, I should be off and running, because in one breath I can recite what has to be moved and where.  I made a little grid out of grid paper, with little furniture to 'scale'.  Tried software online, but it took too long, so I measured things, sat at the drawing table and made my little paperdoll room in several possibilities.   Found one that I liked - taped it down and went with it. So far, so good.  Maybe watching hours of HGTV have helped lately.  Love those shows where they redesign spaces.

One thing that I find interesting, is you move stuff around, neatly put things away with more organization, making it look neater and less cluttered, and you end up with this glut of stuff you don't know what to do with.  It's definitely separating the 'needs' vs. the 'wants'. In that respect it's like the "Cleaning Spaces" show with Niecy Nash.  I am one of those people on that show and have been for most of my life.  Not quite to 'hoarder' status, but a very close second (and hey, don't they say that you are a true artist, if you have a lot of stuff and you are usually in disarray?)  You just never know when you might need that old VHS rewinder, or those 'teaching files' from 5 years ago.  Talk about clutter!

I think I am finally starting to see what it's going to be like. Yeah!
5 Beatles CD's on 'shuffle' really help!
(and yes, I rewrote this from yesterday's post.  I sometimes get in a hurry to post and don't think about explaining myself)
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Where I Stand Saturday

As you may know, this post is usually "Where I Stand Sunday" however, where I stand today (Saturday) is usually where I stand tomorrow, when I am home.  The studio needs some rearranging and organization and just plain revamping.  Boxing up things, so heavy stuff with removal of things off of shelves and out of drawers can be moved more easily. 
"Seaport Sunflower"
8" x 10"
watercolor/gouache
Arches coldpress
If interesting in purchasing this or any of my art go to my Etsy shop.
I am still in the watercolor mode.  I find that I have trouble leaving the paper white - like around the sunflower - it would have helped with the brightness of the petals, but I ended up using white gouache to bring it back up into the light.  Working background to foreground works OK, but lighter then darker, or transparent layers - often doesn't and I end up painting into the light that I wanted to leave.  I have such a mindset in dark to light.  I tend to go too opaque (and I know that sometimes watercolor can be opaque - but I'm going for that transparent look).

I am giving this medium some time and so onward with practice.  Artistic struggle at the most.  And I realize...sometimes - even though you want your work to be a certain way, it isn't.  Does that ever happen to you?...and even if you rework and have it there, it is sometimes just NOT THERE.  But when you ACHIEVE WHAT RESULTS YOU WERE AFTER and you know it, there is nothing better!  Lots of books and magazines and DVD's to learn with so maybe I can have that feeling with watercolor some day. 

Instead of JUST COLD, it decided to snow a little here today.  Just a dusting.  I am ready for more.
Thanks to my floral designer daughter, I have lots of flower resource material.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mixed Media/Watercolor-Pastel

"Poppies II"
watercolor and pastel
4" x 6"
Canson watercolor paper
Experimenting with these two mediums. The pastel needs a 'tooth' to set down on the paper and there isn't any.  The surface is pretty smooth.  Once I spray fixed it 'on purpose', I added pastel into the wet surface and it made for an interesting finish, feels and looks almost "impasto" and a little abstract.  I also realized that my Photoshopping efforts weren't making my photos bright enough once blogged, so this one seems a little pumped up bright to me.  I am trying to get this 'watercolor' painting idea - in the meantime - so different to use if you are used to oil or pastel.  Lots of practice and 'duds'  - a title my brother used to give to his firecrackers that didn't explode when he was a little boy. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Visiting family in KC, delivering art, picking up some furnishings - to keep or pass-on...thinking of a reconfigeration of the studio.  COOOOLD here..snowed a little, and as always - enjoy the company and the extra added pleasure of reading a REAL newspaper. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Holiday Photo Card - the Making Of...

While on our trip west, we decided to take our family group photo in Wyoming.  We have done this photo (last year's was at home) a couple of years in a row.  Each year, it is comical to think about how it would be possible to get every dog looking towards the camera, being still and me being ready for the flash of the shutter.  Here is a shortened sequence of the event...
Getting the scenic composition set-up..
Next wrangle the dogs, as soon as I get get the camera ready for a timed shutter release...

Oops, that one didn't work...
we've got to be a little quicker!
Hmm, Chaco, I don't think this one will do.
And after about 7 more..
This is the best one!  After some Photoshop crop and color, lighting and contrast adjustment and VOILA!

Happy Holidays from Pattie and Gene ~
Bailey, Chaco and Herman (RIP), too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Mixed Media Painting

"Agavetito"
4" x 6"
mixed media - watercolor and pastel
on Canson XL watercolor paper
I have been feeling like painting in watercolor.  To achieve a more brilliant contrast, I added pastel on top.  Once I used spray fixative, the darks darkened and the lights got richer.  I don't usually spray fix..but found it important for this piece to 'do it's thing'.

Comes already framed..
with matboard and glass.
Check it out on Etsy .

New Digs to Hang With

I live where there aren't a lot of opportunities to show locally.  The coffee shop in Downs, Kansas, closed awhile back which left a big whole in the world of "being out there".  Until now...
A fairly new place is open and alive in Osborne, Kansas...that's about 35 miles away from  me.  My friend Jan Schoen and I...have work hanging there for show and sell.  There are a few other artist's who have hung their work, as well.
If you live in the North Central Kansas area, stop in.  Dave makes great coffee and food!  It's a little taste of history in this old building. 
Our pieces on view (4 each for now).  It's a nice bright, sunny spot on this wall.
We are looking forward to the exposure and further interest in our work and Harvey's!
Here's the lunch menu if you are interested.

Great specialty coffees, teas and drinks as well! 
We plan on stopping by for the live music some Friday evening!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

While watching a very poorly played football game on Denver's part, I took the liberty of beginning a little holiday knitting...better late than never.  Have a request - new coat needs a chapeau!  So, grandmother is away with her needles!
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me and a few others (who faithfully post this day) by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave me a message or a comment and we will include you in our fun.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Wintertime Focus

A new book came in the mail today...I think I will hunker down with this one for many days and weeks to come.  James Gurney - creator of Dinotopia (awesome) has put together a very interesting guide to color and light, two very important fundamentals for artists.  Gone are the days of getting a book from North Light Book Club (not long ago) and discovering that the book you purchased has very few color plates in it.  This book is filled with examples of vivid paintings!  I can't wait to dive into it!! 
If you care to check out James' blog you can visit it here:



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Watercolor for Today

"Trois Paires de Bottes"
watercolor on Arches cold press
8" x 10"
Layers of transparent watercolor is a lot of fun, hairdryer in hand..makes it quicker.
Is it snowing in your area yet?  I have been watching the weather in the East U.S. and brrr...makes me cold and want to hunker down for the winter already!  Take care up there!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where I Stand Saturday

"Nicki"
12" x 16"
oil on stretched canvas
Commission...
so this is a "Where I Stand - Saturday".  It is more interesting than where I will stand tomorrow, which is probably doing something along the lines of organizing. This painting took a long time, so we are dancing to say the least... 

and Jacques and Jill are dancing with me as I finished this commission and feel it's 'spot on'.
  In the meantime, looking forward to more days of healing and looking to the future. 
Already making an ART plan for this next year.  Will share more as the season crescendos. 
Took a survey the other day of "when do you start your next year's goals?"  The choices were - before December, in December, around Christmas or on New Years.  Heck ya, before December - got lots to sort out.  Been watching videos on and reading about watercolor portraiture..that may be one of my goals.  I LOVE painting in oils and pastels, but am so intrigued by 'watermedia'.  I am also intrigued by 'altered books' and what goes into making them!   

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Greetings and Good Tidings of the Day

"Wild Turkeys"
9" x 12"
oil on Raymar canvasboard
Happy Thanksgiving - if you celebrate it..(and if you don't - have a nice day and a great weekend.)  Today we are celebrating and giving thanks for the life of a little dog, who changed our lives for the better - left us with sweet and fun memories, showed us what devotion and unconditional love is all about - and whose passing reminds us how fragile life is.  Give hugs and respect to your loved ones today.  Don't let a day go by that you don't tell them how much they are loved.  Be it children or pets, give them the attention they need and ask for, as nothing is more important. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Checking Back In

As stated in my sidebar..I write this blog to tell about life as an artist living in (rural) Kansas.  Also, my plan was to have a plethora of art pieces to showcase on a regular basis.  Sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn't.  Many have told me that it interests them to know what an artist does, how they think, what they experience in their lives that makes them able to and want to do what they do.  I hope I share that, as well, probably not always obvious..but hopefully my readers can infer.  

Been in the studio the past several days.  It's been a real wrestle, but I need to get on with it.  I have a commission to paint of a coworker/friend's dog, who passed in May.  (See a couple of posts ago, same dog, different pose and a more involved finished piece - larger, more complex.)  By contrast, I am experiencing some of the same emotions that she felt at an earlier time.  This painting is one of those MOST IMPORTANT paintings for reasons you may understand.  Not that they aren't all important, but painting 'life' - posthumously - is the supreme challenge for me. 

Two dogs are with me at all times.  We are discovering the "new" order of life without Herman.  I watch them act out in different ways...it all says to me how they are missing him, too.  We are helping each other - healing from a loss of a pet, and best friend/companion/source of unconditional love and affection.  The BIG awareness for me is...there will never be another dog like him.  He was the "one and only - Herman".  Going forth each day, trying to find inspiration in his memory.  It's gonna take awhile.  Thanks for your kind thoughts/comments and emails. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Voices from the Edge...
Still sorting this thing out and trying to find peace and solace. 
Wondering how and why it all happened? 
Worst time is arising each day - what a routine we had.  Herman always insisted on being #1 lap dog..guess who has taken his place?  And he is choosing to do it 'overtime'.  My arms are open wide.
Interesting dynamic to watch - in both of them, as they obviously notice his absence.  Chaco seemed to sense the whole ordeal from the beginning.  Watched Bailey (big dog), who always looks far beyond the dog compound - look around corners, and in other areas,
sniffing for where perhaps Herman had been but definitely looking for him.
Accepting the differences in each day now. So many 'changes' going forward. 
We have our good memories. 
We are hangin' in there...
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me and a few others (who faithfully post this day) by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave me a message or a comment and we will include you in our fun.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sad News

One of our beloved dogs passed away today.  Herman (Hasty Herman - is his name on his official papers) was approaching his 10th birthday.  I feel he has left us a little early..but whenever that time comes, is too early for pets.  He 'passed on' while we were with him.  I saw his little soul leave his body and he watched us - as I watched his last breath.  I find comfort in that. 

You should have seen his last hurrah last evening after his dinner meal.  You would have thought that the puppy returned.  He was running around playing with us and the other dogs...he even started the whole event.   It went downhill from there.  By this morning, we drove to our long distance vet...upon arriving, he was hanging on to life by a very thin thread.  Some sort of stomach rupture the vet thinks - perhaps I go along with that.  He was what I considered fragile this last year.   I kept him as close to us as I could. 

He had a good life.  He almost always traveled with us.  The other two dogs will have some adjusting to do.  Empty house tonight.  Empty feeling.   In the days ahead, I will try to find ways to celebrate "Herman". 

REST IN PEACE - BEST DOG IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

The heat is on..officially today!

"Play Ball"
6" x 6"
oil on Raymar canvasboard
Getting the feel for an upcoming commission.  Animals have many issues to consider in their physical make-up, such as placement of the eyes, shape of the eyes, length of nose and shape and placement of the ears, shape of the skull (check out the differences the next time you are around several dogs at once) to name a few.  Color is a biggie on this one.  Every photo I have - shows a slightly different hue.  Nicki passed away last May..so photos are all we have.  I think I am ready for a different pose - several to select from and a more complete portrait.  By the way, if you haven't seen "Dogs Decoded" on NOVA on PBS, you must see it.  It is so fascinating!



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

I really like to paint - be it on a canvas or the side of a building. This building color has been my nemesis for ages - it houses the studio.  Time to make it the color of the house where we live.  The weather, being so nice, surely will cooperate. 
Cutting in, some yesterday and the rest today.

Seventy foot flat surface, just a few windows and a door - should be done in no time...

Two different kinds of metal siding..the old part (the part that is done) could be rolled easily with a half roller...the newer part, the roller doesn't fit between the peaks of the material, so back to the brush.  Then it got so hot, that the paint was drying and dragging as I worked along. Who would imagine?  Such a  nice day.  I really planned to be done with this side TODAY!!  The white on the roof is patch to keep it from leaking...it is just metal and purlins...no decking.  We need to treat it again, as there are some leaks.  We may tear it off, deck it, tarpaper it and replace the metal.  Oh geez..
But that is another day, another bunch of material needed.    So on to the next project...

this little old - circa 1950 - one car garage (almost falling over) needs to be torn down and the metal roof needs to be preserved for another job.  Then the wind came up...hubster did a dance off the ladder, missed a step, hit the ground...bodies are hurting, fighting the wind...we did good for awhile..this one may be for another day as well.
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me and a few others (who faithfully post this day) by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave me a message or a comment and we will include you in our fun.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Preview of Art














A friend asked, "What pieces are you showing at Salina?"   Here are 11 of the 14.  I know I have a photo of the others, I just can't put my finger on where I saved them...it's called "being organized" and sometimes I am NOT.  If you are in the Salina area, be sure to stop by for a look - we have some great pieces showing at the country club!!  Lots of great spots to eat in Salina. 

We ate lunch on Monday at a restaurant - made in an old (historic) dry cleaners downtown called "Wood Fashion Restaurant". 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Invitation

Musings from the Heartland
- a showing of their art -
Pattie Wall, Jan Schoen, Cher Heller-Olson and Gary Ozias
November 1 - 30, 2010
Salina Country Club, 2101 Country Club Road, Salina, Kansas 67401
(785) 827-0388

Where I Stand Sunday

We aren't really standing, we are underneath the truck, with our feet on the frame, looking at the serial number of the "hydrovac".  The hydro is an interesting piece of equipment that we are still trying to understand what it does and how it works with the brakes.  The brakes locked up on us recently - while at the landfill.  Interesting how we got it unstuck, well enough to drive it back home.  Then they were stuck again, then we unstuck them, now it's driven around without touching the brake, or it will lock up again...once we figure out this 'hydrovac' we will be back in business.  Don't worry it doesn't go off the farmstead for now.  Little by little, this truck is being redone (I like to think of it as 'remodeled'...cause I can remodel just about anything at this point in my life).
1950 Chevy - 1 1/2 ton truck
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me and a few others (who faithfully post this day) by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave me a message or a comment and we will include you in our fun.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Ok, it's our fourth year here - we got a phone call that there would be a Halloween parade in "town" at 4:00 this afternoon. I decided it was time to go see the kids and their costumes.
This is a little town that used to have lots of businesses and people, but as many smaller towns on the Great Plains - population is dwindling.  There were 15 (count em - 15) kids in this year's extravaganza.

But that doesn't cut down on the creativity of some parents - those wheels are painted paper plates, the engine a painted box, with shoulder straps, a black plastic tub for the smokestack.  Woo - woo!
There are many great ladies in this town.  They spread out a "Trunk or Treat" at the end of the parade route.


And, yes, this was my favorite costume (and hair).


We hung out til the sun went down...those cirrus clouds are making for some awesome sunsets.

A Pastel for Today - Chair

"Easy Chair #1"
8" x 8"
pastel on Canson paper
I have this wingbacked chair, although it is just plain gold velveteen.  I found it at a second hand store in Wheatridge, Co.  I used it in my classroom for a time for a shared reading/author's chair. 
Kids loved sitting in it, it made them feel 'regal'.
I gave it a new life...artistically - and added some pizzazz.  Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Little Shu


You may remember this one. It's on it's way to the MAPS (Mid American Pastel Society) Small Painting Show at the Kansas City Club today.  Show is from Nov. 3 through Jan. 3rd at 918 Baltimore, KCMO

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

I miss seeing the changing of colors on the aspen trees in the high country of Colorado...but if you look closely here in Kansas, there are lots of variations of fall colors to get excited about.
Looking out the co-op window...love the light that the sunset creates on the tops of the trees and the shadows it creates from there.

Yesterday, we drove far away to look at some farm equipment.  I never thought I would spend time doing that activity, but it gave us the opportunity to try out a Mexican food restaurant in another town.  It was quite nice. 70 miles, one way...we plan to visit it again soon.  For this girl, to be away from decent Mexican cuisine, is just a travesty. 
One more, the sunsets from the co-op door are amazing these days.
Oh ya, here are a few close-ups of those trucks..

Old, well-used and too pricey and too expensive to 'make right'...was the verdict.